Monday, March 15, 2010

1 Kings 1-4: The King Is Dead; Long Live the King!

We start 1 Kings with David being on his death bed, or at least very near it.  He's very old and he gets really cold just lying around in bed all day.  So his advisers advise that they find a virgin to take care of David and sleep in his bed to keep him warm.  Now, my question is, where are all David's wives?  He's got at least eight, but none of them volunteer to take care of him - not even Abigail, the smart one.  Guess we know how committed those relationships are.  So they hire some pretty girl to be David's nurse, and good boy, he doesn't sleep with her (in that sense).  Maybe he's finally learned his lesson.

Then Adonijah, one of David's sons sets himself up as king - before David is even dead - even though David had already declared that Solomon would be king after him.  So the prophet Nathan talks to Solomon's mom Bathsheba and tells her to talk with David to make sure Solomon becomes king.  Sure, now the loving wife wants to spend time with her husband.  But David doesn't really mind too much; he declares that Solomon is going to be king, and he orders Nathan to set up a party anointing Solomon.  So they do.

Oh yeah, guess who else was behind Adonijah's becoming king?  That's right, Joab.  Finally, David tells Solomon not to let Joab die in peace, but he doesn't kill him himself (though I wish he would've). So David dies, Solomon becomes king, and Adonijah wants to keep his place in the land of the living, so he surrenders to Solomon, or rather to Bathsheba, and says all he wants is David's nurse, the cute girl who David fortunately didn't sleep with.  Bathsheba asks Solomon's permission, but Solomon isn't too thrilled with the idea - actually he says that Adonijah must be put to death.  He also fires the priest, since he was in cahoots with Adonijah, and apparently he's a relative of Eli - remember him from 1 Samuel?  God told Eli that He would judge his house.

Then finally - finally - Solomon order his new army commander to kill Joab, who has run away, and he does.  Solomon also kills the guy who had cursed David that David had let go.  Now all the resistance has been put down and Solomon's rule is secured.

Then God appears to Solomon in a dream and tells him to ask for something.  Solomon, wisely, asks for wisdom to rule.  God is really pleased with this request, so in addition to giving Solomon wisdom, He promises him wealth and long life and rest from his enemies, as long as he continues to be devoted to God.  Then we have an example of Solomon making a really wise decision - two women claim the same baby and Solomon figures out whose kid that baby is.

The next chapter basically tells us Solomon's kingly stats: who his officials are, what the extent of his territory is, and how his reputation as a wise ruler grows.  Solomon had 3000 proverbs, 1005 songs, and knew about trees, animals, birds, and all kinds of stuff basically.  And you thought your parents were know-it-alls.

So things are going well for Solomon.  His country has grown and it's at peace, he's got lots of money, and he's making good decisions for his people.  That means only one thing: It's time for a project.  But we'll find out about it next time.

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